Where Gulf Spill Might Place on the Roll of Disasters

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Gulf of Mexico - ...

“From the Oval Office the other night, President Obama called the leak in the Gulf of Mexico “the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced.”

…The motive seems clear. The words signal sympathy for the people of the Gulf Coast, an acknowledgment of the magnitude of their struggle. And if this is really the worst environmental disaster, the wording seems to suggest, maybe people need to cut the government some slack for failing to get it under control right away.

But is the description accurate?

Scholars of environmental history, while expressing sympathy for the people of the gulf, say the assertion is debatable…” (New York Times )

Headache pill reduces the pain of social rejection

Polar surface area of paracetamol

Over-the-counter headache pill paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen, reduces the pain of social rejection according to a new study just published in Psychological Science.

Based on past findings of an overlap between the brain circuits involved in physical pain and those involved in feeling rejected, the researchers wondered whether painkillers would also ease emotional distress stemming from exclusion.” (Mind Hacks)

A Real Apology … For Joe Barton’s Grammar

Joe Linus Barton, a Representative from Texas
Joe Linus Barton (R.-TX)
Humorist Brian Unger: “…As the humble son of two English teachers with master’s and specialist’s degrees in speech and education who took pleasure in scolding me as a child in both Latin and Greek, I’d like to apologize to all English-speaking nations for Rep. Joe Barton’s apology for apologizing to BP CEO Tony Hayward while he apologized to America for turning the Gulf of Mexico into a sorry petrochemical spittoon…
…[W]hen a congressmen demands proper English be the language of the land, and then destroys that language in front of an Englishman — I must apologize for me, myself, or I to my mom and dad; I’m sorry.”  [read the entire piece] (NPR).